The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) recently issued updated Guidance on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace (the “Guidance”) for employers and workers outside of the healthcare industry.1 Although this updated Guidance does not establish any legal requirements, it is best practice to follow OSHA’s recommendations, as a failure to follow these recommendations could expose employers to liability or, at a minimum, invite potential claims.
First, the Guidance limits its focus to protecting unvaccinated or otherwise at-risk workers in their workplaces. Importantly, with regard to vaccinated workers who are not otherwise at-risk, and workplaces where all employees are fully vaccinated, the Guidance removes recommended employer protections. However, notwithstanding the Guidance, it may be prudent for employers to continue to follow the OSHA recommendations below, as employers may not know the vaccination or “otherwise at-risk” status of their employees.
With regard to unvaccinated or otherwise at-risk employees, OSHA’s recommendations include the following, many of which employers have already implemented:
The Guidance also recommends additional protections for workplaces deemed “higher-risk” – including high volume retail and grocery settings. For these high-risk workplaces, OSHA’s additional recommendations include:
If you have any questions regarding this Guidance, please contact the attorney you work with at Shulman Rogers or feel free to contact an employment and labor group attorney at the firm.
The contents of this Alert are for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. If you have any questions about this Alert, please contact the Shulman Rogers attorney with whom you regularly work or a member of the Shulman Rogers Employment and Labor Law Group.
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